NSPCC highlights online safety at Eisteddfod
New Welsh-language animation, which aims to give parents support and advice on keeping their children safe online, launched at Eisteddfod
· Stori Mia is screened at innovative online safety workshop in Anglesey
· Nearly 500 children from Wales contacted Childline because of bullying, including online bullying, last year
NSPCC Cymru / Wales has launched an innovative new Welsh-language animation which aims to help parents talk to their children about safety on social networks, apps and games.
Stori Mia has been created as part of Share Aware – a joint NSPCC campaign in partnership with O2 – and was screened for the first time at an online safety workshop at the Eisteddfod.
Presented by representatives from both the leading child protection charity and O2, the workshops are delivered regularly to parents in venues across Wales. The workshops help parents understand the internet as children do, focusing on everything from online games and cyber bullying, to setting up privacy settings and controls.
Today’s (8 August) event was attended by families on the Maes, in Anglesey, and featured the story of Mia – an animated character who stays safe in the real world but struggles to do the same online.
The NSPCC’s Share Aware campaign urges parents to make online safety as high a priority for their children as road safety.
In 2015/16, nearly 500 children and young people from Wales contacted the NSPCC-run Childline service to discuss bullying and online bullying. Across the UK, children as young as seven have told Childline counsellors they were being tormented and abused by malicious and hurtful messages from which they felt there was no escape.
In the same year, 85 children from Wales contacted Childline with concerns specifically about online sexual abuse which includes grooming, sexting, being made to perform sex acts on webcam and viewing distressing sexually explicit content.
And a recent NSPCC survey of UK parents of 8-13 year olds – in partnership with O2 – found only 19% are frequently discussing online safety with their children.
The findings also revealed that just 17% of parents talk to their child about changing the location settings on the apps and sites they use, which could leave them vulnerable to being targeted by online abusers.
The NSPCC provides advice and support for parents on talking to their children about online safety. This includes three tips to help get the conversation started:
· Explore sites and apps together and talk about any concerns.
· Ask your child if they know how to stay safe online.
· Talk about personal information and what to share online.
More advice about how to talk to your child to help them stay safe is available here.
Head of NSPCC Cymru / Wales, Des Mannion, said:
“To children online life is real life but, as parents, it can be difficult to keep track of what young people are doing in this constantly changing world.
“Talking to your child and exploring the internet with them is the best way to keep them safe but it can be hard to keep up to speed and some topics can feel more difficult than others.
“Stori Mia is an excellent opportunity for mums and dads to learn more about their child’s online life and obtain information that will support them in their conversations.
“Having the video available in the Welsh language is hugely important as it provides many parents with tools in the language they speak at home or school.”
Stori Mia, a Welsh-language animation encouraging parents to talk to their children about online safety, can be seen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0LFHAlS-DEA
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